Taiwan elections; Liu He coming to DC; Spring Festival travel starts Friday
The Chinese have officially confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He is leading a delegation to Washington DC on January 13 for the January 15 signing of the phase one trade deal.
There have been a lot of hot takes about how weak the deal is but I am still in the dark about what is actually in it. I will make a courageous, wild guess that both sides will have domestic criticism, however muted it may be in the PRC, and that in fact the reason the Chinese side has been so relatively quiet about the details is that they conceded more than they wanted to, because Xi decided it was time to try to stabilize the relationship, however narrowly and temporarily.
I find it interesting that Taoran Notes, the very accurate chronicler of the trade talks, has been silent since November 5. Maybe he felt there was no need to keep writing since a deal was done, but one hypothesis I have heard is that his silence is part of an overall directive from Xi to ensure that there is only one voice talking about the …